Candidates for BLU Election 2012

by President on November 5, 2012

For President:

LISA RODENFELS, CALDWELL, OH

My husband, Chuck, and I have been shepherds for more than 25 years. Somerhill Farm comprises 164 acres in Noble County, Ohio, where we raise 50 head of registered Bluefaced Leicester sheep. We bought our first BFL ram in 1991, and have been breeding purebreds since 1995. Somerhill Farm is a founding member of BLU.
I am a past board member of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, and served 13 years on the Ohio Lamb and Wool Board. I have served as president of the Ohio Cheviot Breeders Association, and was instrumental in the establishment of that group’s very successful annual bred ewe award to an Ohio youth.

BFLs have been my passion since 1991. Our first was purchased as a crossing sire on our Cheviot flock, and I still feel strongly that the BFL can fill its important niche in the grassfed lamb market in this country. And besides its traditional role as the sire of the mule for commercial lamb production, I believe the BFL is positioned to become the producer of premier wool for the large handspinning market in this country.
The first 3 years serving on the new BLU board have been challenging and rewarding.  I feel that our board has accomplished so much in this time; adopting bylaws for the association, establishing a website and keeping it fresh and up to date with lots of interesting articles, expanding on the advertising we do in national and local magazines and show catalogs. We’ve redesigned brochures and created banners for members to use at events to advertise BFLs.   I would really like a second term to continue working to improve our association and if re-elected, look forward to serving such a great group of people.

3 Candidates for general board positions:

KRISTEN BARNDT, FRISCO, TX

Greetings from Reveille! My name is Kristen Barndt. I’m originally from the eastern side ofRochester,NY. My husband Karl and I lived in northeast PA for 16 years, and now we live inFrisco,Texas. I have a BS in Fine Art, and my interest in history and arts and crafts led me to learn to spin and weave (I took a weaving course in college). As I was learning to spin, I knew that owning sheep wasn’t far behind. After becoming interested in and then raising BFLs, I can honestly say that I love this breed… it’s my favorite!

Current BLU Involvement/Goals:

I have been a member of BLU since January 2005, and have worked in some capacity for BLU since 2005. I was the BLU Flock Book Editor (although we are now rethinking the Flock Book format). I have been the Secretary since the incorporation/reorganization of BLU. I have also worked as BLU Librarian (to archive articles, books, flock books, and other information), and I help with development and maintenance of the new website.

I have offered to stay on as Secretary for BLU. If so, I hope to serve BLU and its Members in any way I am capable, to continue promoting the breed, and to always help others by education, sharing information, and/or support. It’s been wonderful working with the new Board; I think our goals are all the same… continue to make BLU better each year, do more for our membership, and of course promote our favorite breed.

I think the Bluefaced Leicester “does what it does best” whether you are using it for beautiful fiber, market lambs, commercial cross ewes, carcass improvement, fleece improvement, or in a purebred breeding program. I hope we can maintain the breed as a “well balanced” stylish sheep, with excellent conformation, temperament, soundness, and utility (including fleece). We should not lose sight of its traditional purpose, and those unique genetic qualities that were developed in it for that purpose, but the BFL can also serve so well in a variety of areas, which may be one of its greatest appeals… to adults and youth alike.

Related Experience:

Experience in various animal-related organizations for over 20 years, serving as secretary, general board member, planning committee member, and/or newsletter designer/editor. I was involved in the planning of the First National BFL Show (Rhinebeck,NY, 2007), the Bucks County Horse Park Driving Show (helped develop the show, served as Show Manager), and other fun riding and driving shows… including judging.

Current Employment:
Farm & Livestock Manager, Heritage Farmstead Museum, Plano, Texas. Besides livestock care, grounds management and event set-up, I also assist in tours, educational programs, and create some outdoor exhibits. You can often find me demonstrating to the public at special events by hand carding and spinning wool on a Great Wheel, and talking about the history of sheep and fiber arts.

 Thank you for considering me!

ROBINA KOENIG, BEND OR

Bleatings All,  My name is Robina Koenig, owner and shepherd of Tumble Creek Farm in Bend, Oregon. I’ve been raising purebred Bluefaced Leicesters for 12 years; sheep for 14 years. I would like to be considered for another term as a BLU board member, to continue representing our dynamic membership.

The Bluefaced Leicester is a wonderful breed that I’ve been sharing with other producers, encouraging new breeders and introducing to the public since I acquired my first ram in 2001. Promotion of the breed has been my main focus at the west coast shows, “Black Sheep Gathering” and “Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival,” where we’ve seen tremendous interest in both the sheep and their fiber.

We (BLU) have sponsored four National Shows to date and I’ve been fortunate in being able to attend each one. I showed when possible, but always embraced the opportunity to meet other breeders and learn from them.

The Board has been working on some excellent ideas and I’ve enjoyed being a part of the team. I hope you will favorably consider my application for another term. Thank you all.

JOLENE VEZZETTI, PERKASIE, PA

Fellow BLU Members,

I have enjoyed being a Board member for the past few years and would be honored to serve another term.

I have been actively involved with BLU for the past 10 years. This involvement has included showing our sheep at local and national shows, representing the breed at these events with the BLU display, helping to organize a BFL breed show, or participating in a Parade of Breeds.

For the past 4 years, I have been responsible for setting up a display for BLU at both the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and the Garden State Sheep Festival in New Jersey. I compiled a membership list of all BLU members and their contact information that is distributed at Sheep & Wool Festivals throughout the country.

In 2012 I attended the National Show in Wooster, Ohio and set up the BLU display as well as led a discussion/workshop on Felting with BFL Fiber.

While the show ring is certainly not the only way to promote the BFL, I do feel that it helps to validate that the breed is to be taken seriously, that it is not a fad, and to have it judged on the merits of the breed. I am committed to establishing a BFL breed class at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in the upcoming year, which would be a first for the breed.

When I attend shows throughout the year, I am hearing more and more of the need to have BFL fleeces available for purchase. There is a need for both purebred and cross bred fleeces. I would like to work towards encouraging more breeders to enter fleeces in fleece shows and for fleece sales.

There is much to be excited about as we look to the future of the BFL in America and I look forward to helping take the Bluefaced Leicester to the next level.

Thank you for your support.

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